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Tuesday, Jul 29, 2003

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Garuda to fly into India

Our Bureau

Chennai , July 28

GARUDA Indonesia, the national airline of Indonesia, plans to fly to two Indian points in the near future under the air bilateral agreements, according to Mr Udin Saifuddin, Deputy of Marketing, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Indonesia. The two destinations are likely to be Chennai and Mumbai, he said.

Mr Saifuddin was talking to presspersons at the second day of the India International Travel Mart (IITM), where Indonesia is represented. He said that India was one of the new markets that the Indonesia was targeting. The number of Indians who visit Indonesia for business or pleasure is not yet large yet this figure is increasing from year to year, he said.

In 2000, outbound Indians to Indonesia numbered 42,000, which increased to 42,600 in 2001. The average daily expenditure of Indians was $177.60 per person per day with the average duration of stay being 8.38 days.

A survey made in 2001, Mr Saifuddin said, found that 59.8 per cent of the Indians came to Indonesia for business purposes with 31.5 per cent for leisure and holiday. When asked what steps had been taken to change the perception in India after the jailing of an Indian businessman in a Jakarta prison by the authorities there, Mr Saifuddin said that diplomatic initiatives have been embarked upon under the aegis of the Asean to mediate such issues.

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